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Appropriate, non-scary movies for my 4 year old DD - Page 2

post #21 of 41

We have always struggled with the same thing. My daughter is now almost 8 and still has a very limited range of stuff that works for her. Over the years these are some of our favorites, though, and as far as I can remember would probably be ok for a 4-yr-old (or maybe 5?)


Singin' in the Rain (the "make 'em laugh" scene guarantees huge giggles every time)

The Pippi Longstocking movies (made in Sweden, dubbed with English)

Bedknobs and Broomsticks (there is a kind of scary scene that involves a bad guy with a knife, but it's about 15 seconds long and can be fast-forwarded easily)

The Buddies movies (a Disney series involving Golden Retriever puppies; the bad guys are usually pretty benign and comical but you may want to preview)

Milo and Otis (I thought my daughter wouldn't like this one because the whole movie is based on one of the animals getting lost, but it didn't bother her for some reason)

Cirque de Soleil "Dralion" (one of their family performances)

Stomp (dance/performance based on non-traditional percussion "instruments," like brooms, pots and pans, garbage cans, playing cards, etc. Same idea as the stage performances.)

The Little Travelers series (not movies, more like travel documentaries narrated by, about and intended for kids. Two sweet sisters share their travels around the world)

post #22 of 41

I am surprised that there were a few suggestions for Nemo.  My son was terrified to tears at Nemo...not the opening scene where the mother and eggs are all killed but the whole "fish killer" thing with Darla, the niece.  He was sure Darla would kill Nemo.  I was sitting with him the whole time.  I tried to turn it off, but he insisted on watching.  I was actually kind of stuck as to what to do!  I kept reassuring him that Nemo would be ok.  Anyways, he loves the book about Nemo, but we haven't watched the movie again since that day.  He was 3 at the time.  He and his older sister chose it.  I kind of figured that once the first scene was over we would be fine.  Nope.



Dora the Explorer was also scary for him at times...Swipper the Fox was too much for him.


Of course, he loves Toy Story.  No issues with Sid, the neighbor boy who blows up toys....


Barney is a safe bet.  Sesame Street- there is a 20th anniversary dvd that is almost all songs.  That's a really good one.


Also, there are scholastic dvds that are just stories being read with the pages of the book on the screen.  My kids love those!


post #23 of 41

My sensitive kids all loved http://www.commonsensemedia.org/movie-reviews/homeward-bound-incredible-journey. The common sense media web site is a great resource for finding movies for sensitive kids. 

post #24 of 41

There's a movie from the 80s called "The Adventures of Milo and Otis"...there are a few moments with a bear that might be a little hairy and it depicts animals giving birth, but otherwise it is a very nice live-action cat and dog movie. Also, what about the documentary "Babies"? It might be a bit slow-paced for your 4yo but it's very sweet.

post #25 of 41

Count me in with the moms-of-kids-easily-scared-by-movies.  My son is 6.5 and totally terrified of most movies.  Care Bear's Big Wish Story was a favorite for a long time until the DVD got too scratched to watch.  Others are: Dora, Diego, Franklin, Blue's Clues, Animalia, Little Bear, Rolie Polie Olie.  If you want to introduce kids to Disney characters without the trauma of the scary movies, why not try their Sing Along Songs series?  Many of the Nick Jr series (like Dora and Blue's Clues) have full-length feature-type films, as well.

post #26 of 41

Peep and the Big Wide World! My seven year old still loves these; they have science-based themes and are very very gentle. The website has videos you can watch for free: http://www.peepandthebigwideworld.com/videos/

post #27 of 41

This is a great thread! My son (who just turned 4) is scared of everything too. My husband watched Ponyo with him and said he liked it, but then I watched it with him and was surprised because I thought the scene during the monsoon was pretty scary. He does like Cars and I find that isn't bad at all. He also watched most of Madagascar and like it, but be aware that there is some language that isn't appropriate and even offensive to some (the lemurs use the words "freaks" and "pansies").

PBS is our main source and Netflix offers a lot - we just have to weed through it.

post #28 of 41

I have this concern as well, even watching some toddler focused shows can scare my 2 yr old daughter, so I am glad to see a list of some ones beyond our very limited repertoire.


My daughter cries at Milo & Otis when the cat falls into the river, but otherwise seems to like it. The original Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is her favorite.


Our family favorite though is watching episodes of Shawn the Sheep on netflix (claymation, by makers of Wallace and Grommit) adults will enjoy it as much as little ones. It is about a sheep farm's inhabitants and their hijinks; there is no dialogue, and the show is pure fun--we love this show!

post #29 of 41

Though they are more of a 30-minute show than a movie, we LOVE Old Bear Stories (adaptations of Jane Hissey's books on the adventures of stuffed toys--very calm and comforting and cute, yet not talking down to little ones). They were made in the 90s so they are a few years old, but my kids love them. They are stop-motion animation with real stuffed toys.

My personal favorite (show-length, again), is the Koala Brothers series. They are clay animation characters, and don't move too fast or change shape like alot of drawn or computer animated characters do. I think the plots are appropriate for 4-5 yrs and up (younger ones won't understand what's going on, but still enjoy the characters).

The Secret of Roan Innish (may be too slow/mature plot for a 4 yr old)...except for the scene where the selkie changes from a seal to a woman, it's a little...gooey.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar (low key, good music)

Richard Scarry's Best Counting/Alphabet/Learning Songs Ever videos

Any Theodore the Tugboat shows (the 3-show videocassettes are about 45 minutes). This show will remind you of Thomas the Train, but without the grumpy/scary/negative characters.

Larger Than Life with Bill Murray. There is one mention of the word "a$$" that is actually kinda hard to hear so I don't think my kids notice it, but overall it's pretty fun. I bought it before I had kids.

I think it is hard to find movies for kids without a scary situation for them to strive against, violence or bad guys, or even "friends" doing negative things they shouldn't (lying, saying they feel "fine" when they are obviously sad/angry--i have read that kids learn these behaviors even though the shows intend to teach why NOT to do these things, and it makes sense to me, so we avoid them). We have hardly any movie-length shows for just that reason!

Enjoying reading others' suggestions...

post #30 of 41

My 4.5 yr old son loves the Wee Sing movies (esp. Wee Sing in Sillyville).  There is not a scary moment in the movie.  He also likes, Cars, Toy Story 2, Finding Nemo (we start the DVD at the 1st day of school), Thomas the Train, Wall-E, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Winnie the Pooh.  And then for TV shows Sesame street, Reading Rainbow, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Dora the Explorer, and Handy Manny.


Now for my own personal assessment - I hate my ILs for introducing Thomas (they are very annoying).  I only like the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, not the other movies or TV shows.


I love Wall-E and Reading Rainbow.  We are starting with Muzzy (in Spanish), in March.  We only do 1 hour of screen time a day, and so he picks.  Mickey Mouse, Dora, and Handy Manny usually only happen at Grandma's.

post #31 of 41

Some of these suggestions are great, at least for my sensitive kiddo, but if you really want to know more about movies before you show them to your kid, check out http://www.commonsensemedia.org/ and read the reviews. I don't necessarily agree with them on the age range for each movie, but they give you a great idea of all the things your kid may or may not find problematic in the movie. And I suggest watching it yourself, first, because only you know what's likely to be scary for your kid.


My son LOVES Mary Poppins, but he did spend a lot of time processing the bank scene. We all love Little Bear. No conflict, fun plots, no annoying voices (unlike Calliou...). He also loves Mr Rogers. He watched Toy Story 1 a couple of times and is now obsessed with Buzz and spends a lot of time trying to process that Buzz is a Space Ranger who "comes in peace", yet he uses his laser. So anything with "bad guys" or people hurting each other or other creatures...the movie has to be really worth it to "endure" his constant questions and processing. :) (His daycare showed them part of Wizard of Oz this summer and that was NOT worth it...oy....)


Really, if your daughter is sensitive, I'd stick with Little Bear (there are quite a few stories on each DVD) and books-on-video from Scholastic (like Snowy Day). With those, and Mary Poppins, and some on-line Mr Rogers, I don't think you'll be lacking in something for her to watch when you want her to be doing that. :)

post #32 of 41

There are many great suggestions here. My daughter especially loves Peep and the Big Wide World, and Totoro. A few things she likes that no one has mentioned are Kidsongs and Big Comfy Couch (you can find both on youtube). Also the Harold and the Purple Crayon cartoon series, Wubbzy, and the Mr Men. She loves documentaries, the Planet Earth and Cosmos series and anything with ocean life, animals, etc. A few movies she's enjoyed, that really surprised me, are Little Miss Sunshine and Napoleon Dynamite, neither are really appropriate for a preschooler, but they both have great dance numbers at the end.

post #33 of 41

Oh! See if you can find "The StoryWatchers Club"!

post #34 of 41

This has been most enjoyable to read and learn of so many more options.  I will add that Wonder Pets on Netflix is a mainstay for us.  It is quite creative, teaches kindness, patience and teamwork, and incorporates singing dialogue, similar to a broadway musical.  We all love it!

post #35 of 41

-Ponyo, My Neighbour Totoro and Kiki's Delivery Service were all hits

-Singin' in the rain

-Sound of Music-until the kids go to bed

-Franklin and the Green Knight (blech, but the kids love it)

-Milo and Otis is on frequently too.


And it's funny, but Mary Poppins freaked out our LO (the floating on the ceiling, the bank scenes) for ages and ages. Only recently will she watch the whole thing!

post #36 of 41

Ds is also very sensitive with movies. Some that have worked for us are:


Anything PBS

The Scholastic Video series (Love these)

Sound of Music (the first half)

Musicals of many types

 -White Christmas

 -Mama Mia

 -I love Danny Kaye and should introduce him to these

 -I would imagine ds would like Singin in the Rain too

Cars (although we have to fastforward the combine/tractor tippin and the part the "mean" cars lull Mack to sleep)

Mary Poppins (fast forwarding the bank part)

Babe (recently watched this and it went over very well)

Charlottes Web (the old version cartoon)


I'm also surprised at the Nemo suggestion, this movie terrified ds.

We tried Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and that terrified him too (at 5 yrs). I don't think he watched more than 20 minutes total and kept hiding in the kitchen. I mean good gracious it has a "kid catcher"

post #37 of 41

Thank you to the poster who suggested Shaun the Sheep. My 4 year old howls with laughter and is just enjoying the episodes so much!

post #38 of 41
My boys also enjoy Kipper - they're 3, 6, and almost 9. Cute, simple, and lots of creativity. Love streaming Netflix!

Cars has been a big hit for a long time. My 3yo will sometimes ask for Nemo but leave the room for certain parts.

Our go-to safe videos (not necessarily full-length movies) have been Veggie Tales, Signing Time, and Cars, with the more recent addition of Kipper.

I will have to check out some of the other things mentioned!
post #39 of 41

Some Kippers are safe, some really freaked my Dd1 out when she was a bit younger. There is an episode about a ghost, one with little space aliens, one when they go to the moon....you have to pick and choose. I really do like them, though; they are kind to each other and speak politely.


We LOVE Pingu!


Mustard Pancakes (a sweet PBS show).


The first 2 seasons of Blue's Clues. Kind of inane, but harmless.


Little Bear. LOVE Little Bear.


Blue Planet documentaries (I appreciate these because the kills are not grisly and there are no copulation scenes that I have to explain. lol.)


The newer Charlotte's Web with Dakota Fanning - very true to the sweetness of the book, with only one fart joke. ;)



post #40 of 41

My kids are 5 and 3, and they were scared by Ponyo -- so much that they refused to watch it again! Ponyo's father is scary!

Finding Nemo was also too scary for them. :(


The only DVDs we've had success with are Peep and the Big Wide World and Richard Scarry's Busy People.

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